Category: Funds

House of Hope – An Update

Finally the time has come – the papers are signed and it is official.

The land to build the center for Haydom’s children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and their parents has been titled to Haydom Hospital and thus to our Spina Bifida Project.

Together with the lawyer and the administration of the hospital, the owner and our team we visited the property, which is located only 20 minutes walk from the hospital at the bottom of the scenic Mount Haydom.

On almost 4000 square meters a refuge for families and children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus will be built here very soon. The children and families will receive aftercare here and be prepared for their return to their villages. The house is also to become an important meeting place for parents, who will exchange information about the special needs of their children and encourage each other.

In addition to the house, a small garden is to be built on the property, where vegetables will be grown for the children’s own use and for consumption. In addition, an inclusive playground for the children is planned.

We are incredibly excited and look forward to making progress and perhaps welcoming families to the new House of Hope as early as next year. The contract was signed under a beautiful and old Baobab tree, there could not have been a more sacred witness than this shady giant. A colorful foundation stone was laid together to mark the beginning of the construction of the house.

Together we can go the distance

The sun is rising abough the Haydom Airstrip as the sports pistol is giving the kickoff starting signal for about 200 runners to start moving. The sky is burning in red colours, the soil underneath our feet is red and dusty. 200 participants from Haydom and beyond are running for a good cause. 21 km ahead of me and the newest spotify GOOD MOOD playlist in my ears I am managing my first kilometers. It felt like I was the only one running as the others of my group quickly moved out of my sight. But I kept going, passing sunflower fields, little mud houses and farms, akazia trees, cows and goats. Sometimes the road was flat and paved, sometimes it was uneven and I had to jump across deep holes in the ground. My lungs were burning on every little hill I had to climb up, I could feel the altitude but tried to keep breathing deep and slow, focussing my thoughts on the goal not to stop running.

Along the way on each and every intersection were people standing clapping hands and cheering, some of them were waving flags to indicate which direction to continue. On the difficult parts I remember some were even running alongside with me to keep me going. Moments of joy and pure happyness probably caused by a rush of endorphines running through my entire body alternated with moments of deep exhaustion in which I was really fighting hard wanting to just stop and sit down.

The moment I entered the airstrip again I had only one thought left, to reach the finish line. With my very last power and accompanied by a lot of applause and cheering people shouting my name I crossed the finish line after 2 hours and 11 minutes. I did it!! And not enough, even as fourth best in my category. A lot of hands pat me on my shoulder and congratulated. I felt more than happy I was able to represent our Haydom team that way. I am more than thankful for all of your support and good wishes that have carried me across that finish line. When I received my medal and even a price I could not hold back some tears of joy.

Running that distance was reminding me on the fight that our kids with Spina Bifida have to go through every single day and I am so proud on our little warriors and happy I could do that for them. Mr Giniki, Tansanian most famous long distance and Marathon athlete, also was present shaking hands with me as a symbol of his now further on support and cooperation for our children and parents in Haydom. I had to promise I keep on training and running for a good cause. I am truly willing to do. And who knows maybe I will soon even be running the next level. Thanks to each and everyone of you who donated for our children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus in Haydom. The parents and kids after a successful week of education and recreation left with my personal promise that we will continue to keep walking that distance all together and we will see back in October this year.

A new road into a new life for Happyness

For the first time Happyness is smiling at us at eye level. So far, she has only spent her life from the ground. She has always had to look far up at the people around her. Everyday life has always taken place above her head. Carried by her mother, the young girl could never move independently. Yet she bears a beautiful name that could not better describe her character.

Happyness, translated as the cheerful one, has never lost her radiant smile despite all these circumstances. The girl was born with a spinal cord defect, spina bifida. She was never able to use her legs. The necessary physiotherapy was missing, so that her hip and also her legs as well as her spine stiffened at an early age.

The girl was never able to sit alone or to bend her hips, her legs are fixed in an unnatural cross posture and cannot be stretched. The girl can only lie flat on her stomach. During the day, the now 12 year old is carried around by her mother in a special sling.
And most of the day she lies in a corner on the floor of the domestic hut.

Surgical help comes too late for the little girl, as surgery at this advanced stage would be too risky for her.

Happyness has never been to school, but lying on her stomach she paints beautiful pictures of a world where she could play with other girls, go to school or learn a trade. For several years now, Happyness has been coming regularly to Haydom with her mother for follow-up care. Here the team takes care of her wounds and also her bladder function.

For a long time, our hands were tied and we lacked ideas on how to make her daily life easier and give her access to the world and education. A wheelchair seemed like a perfect solution, however Happyness cannot sit or be placed in a seated position without suffering severe pain.

Working with CCBRT, a local Tanzanian rehabilitation association, we put our heads together and designed a custom reclining wheelchair for Happyness to lie prone on. Haydom-Friends e.V. financed the production and purchase of the special wheelchair made of locally manufactured materials. The first test drive with her new wheelchair moved all of us, who had been desperately searching for a solution for this girl for so long, to tears. Happyness took the first “self-determined meters” into her new life. Again accompanied by a brave big smile on her face. We all hope now that this new freedom will also give her the opportunity to attend school.

Happyness story shows how important is especially your help, without which we could never have realized this. It shows that limits and obstacles should always motivate us to look for solutions instead of resigning ourselves to the seemingly impossible.

Happyness needs further financial support for school supplies and annual school fees. If you would like to help or contribute, please feel free to do so through the association’s donation account, subject: Happyness.

Thank you very much.

Strong together for kids with birth defects

We are proud and very happy about the generous donation of our partner Wellspect about 5,000 Euro that we received via a ZOOM Conference. We would like to thank the Wellspect team for their continuous support of our project work in Haydom, Tanzania and their exemplary commitment to the provision of medical aids for children with birth defects here in Germany. With this donation, Wellspect is making an important contribution to the project of building the “House of Hope” in Haydom. It will be a place where mothers and their children with birth defects can find shelter and refuge once the first inpatient treatment is completed. Many mothers are expelled from their communities because of the birth defect of their newborns, are without a roof over their heads, without food supply. At the House of Hope they should find refuge and new confidence. By teaching them how to deal with the special medical needs of their children, they will also be prepared for their later return to their villages. You can also help with your donation to reach the donation goal so that the construction can be completed this year.